99% of households initially eligible through DWP will have been directly paid £301 by the government by end of today (3 May 2023).

  • The payments are the first of 3 new Cost of Living Payments worth up to £900 in 2023/24 for those eligible – though some people will receive up to £1,350.
  • Those remaining will continue to be paid between now and 17 May by DWP, with no need to contact anyone.

More than 7 million households across the UK will have been paid a £301 Cost of Living Payment by the end of today (3 May 2023).

This means the vast majority of eligible households have received the support in just 8 days of the rollout starting, with the small number of payments outstanding to be made by 17 May.

The payment is the first of 3 Cost of Living Payments being made this year and the next, illustrating the government’s commitment to supporting vulnerable families with financial pressures. This comes alongside work to deliver on the government’s 5 priorities, including halving inflation and growing the economy, which will ultimately help put more money in people’s bank accounts at the end of the month.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

Paying more than 7 million households £301 in a little over a week underlines our commitment to ensure those on the lowest income are protected from the worst of rising prices and give them peace of mind.

With further payments due to be made later this year and in 2024, we will continue to provide support to those who need it most while we tackle inflation and grow the economy.

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added:

We know the impact that rising prices are having on families, which is why we are providing significant support to millions through these direct cash payments. This is alongside other support, including holding down energy bills, uplifting benefits and the State Pension by 10%, and increasing the National Living Wage by a record amount.

The single best way to ease cost of living pressures is to bear down on inflation. We are on track to halve it this year, laying the foundation for the long-term growth needed to improve everyone’s living standards.

The Cost of Living Payments, spread across 2023/24, are worth up to £900 for those on means-tested benefits. The next payment for those on means-tested benefits is due in the autumn, with the third instalment due next spring.

These are accompanied by a £150 payment for people on eligible disability benefits this summer, and a £300 payment to top up Winter Fuel Payments for pensioners at the end of 2023 – meaning some will receive up to £1,350.

This makes up part of the government’s significant cost of living support – now worth an average of £3,300 per household over this year and last.

People will be eligible for the £301 Cost of Living Payment if they have been entitled to a payment for one of 7 benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023. The eligible benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

The DWP encourages anyone who thinks they may be eligible for a qualifying benefit to use a benefits calculator to check their entitlement. In particular, low-income pensioners should check their eligibility for Pension Credit, as they may still be able to receive the £301 Cost of Living Payment, and subsequent payments, if they make a successful backdated application by 19 May 2023.

The small number of payments outstanding will continue to be made between now and 17 May, and anyone eligible still waiting for a payment does not need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before then.

After this date, if someone thinks they may be missing a payment they are entitled to, a form can be filled out on the GOV.UK website to make a claim.

One million eligible families, receiving tax credits only, will get their £301 Cost of Living Payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between Tuesday 2 and Tuesday 9 May with the banking reference ‘HMRC COLS’.

This payment comes on top of extensive support given to low-income households in 2022, including up to £1,100 in Cost of Living Payments. The Household Support Fund, worth over £2 billion across its lifetime, continues to offer support to people across England, and those in need should contact their local council to see what support is available in their area.

Notes to Editors

These payments will all be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

The 3 means-tested Cost of Living Payments, worth up to £900 in total, are being delivered in 3 slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. This allows DWP and HMRC to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible, to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value and to reduce the risk of fraud.

To get the £301 payment someone must (subject to a very limited exception explained below) have been entitled to a payment of, or later found to have been entitled to a payment of, a qualifying benefit as follows:

  • for Universal Credit, payment in respect of an assessment period ending between the 26 January 2023 to the 25 February 2023
  • for all other DWP means-tested benefits, payment in respect of any day between 26 January and 25 February 2023
  • for tax credit-only customers to be eligible they must have received a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023, or later be found to have been entitled to a payment for this period
  • those on DWP benefits other than Universal Credit who are entitled to less than 10 pence and meet all other qualifying criteria but who do not receive a benefit payment, will still receive a Cost of Living Payment

More than 6 million people on qualifying disability benefits will receive a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 during summer 2023. This includes those in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

The £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid to all households in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments, in the same way as 2022/23 payments were made.

Payment windows and eligibility dates for the remaining Cost of Living Payments will be announced in due course.

For more information on these payments, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment

For regional, constituency and local authority level breakdowns on payments, please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/first-2023-24-cost-of-living-payment-dates-announced

Published 3 May 2023